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Updated 10th Sep 2021


There are many people of this name in North America. Mostly they come from the Ontario region. They almost certainly all come from one Joseph Tysick who settled in Bathurst soon after 1817. The name originally comes from the family du Thisac who were glassblowers and minor noblemen in Lorraine around 1400.

According to the census of 1842 in Canada, Joseph was born in England and was 63 years old. This makes his birth around 1779. The United Kingdom records show only one Joseph fitting this date, a Joseph, who was the illegitimate son of Joseph Tyzack. The change in spelling was almost certainly a calligraphic error when giving his name on landing in Pennsylvania. Joseph signed his will made in 1853 with a cross so he could not have checked the spelling.

See how the Tysicks spread:- click here O

It is perhaps strange that a father should be the one who registered an illegitimate son. Usually the mother did this job and gave her own surname. One can only assume that perhaps the mother died in childbirth, a common event then. Searching the records back for Joseph's ancestors is easy. He came from Newcastle-on-Tyne and his family were glassmakers, as were most Tyzacks. There were ancestors who fitted the required dates very well but no apparent choices to be made. Thus, we are not left pondering which of two ancestors was the right one. Either you choose the one who fits the dates well or you are left with no alternative. This of course does not guarantee that those chosen are correct but it gives a good probability.


Thus Joseph, the father was probably the son of George Tyzack and Dorothy Milbourn. George was also a Glassblower, perhaps the man who blew the goblet in the Victoria and Albert museum that is engraved with the name George Tyzack. George's father was probably John Tyzack and mother Mary Scott. This John's father was yet another John Tyzack, Chief Workman at Howden Pans glassworks. He had married Dorothy Haslam and they were both Quakers. They got their Quaker leanings from John's father. His name was Zachariah. We do not have much detail on Zachariah because he was a Quaker. Quakers then did not follow the rules relating to registration of vital events. Zachariah was listed as a recusant in 1674. Obviously, he refused to toe the ecclesiastical line. Zachariah was born to Robert and Jane Brewster. Whilst Robert was probably the son of Samuel and born about 1620. That was soon after the glassmakers moved to Newcastle at the request of Sir Robert Mansell, who probably accounts for the use of the name Robert in this family.

Sir Robert had recently, 1615, persuaded King James I to declare the use of wood as fuel for glassmaking, to be prohibited. This drove our families of Sussex glassmakers to abandon their wood burning furnaces in Northchapel and around those parts and head North to Newcastle where Sir Robert had recently set up a coal burning glassworks on the coalfields there.


So much for Joseph's ancestors. What of him? Well the first time after his birth he comes into the records is when he married Dinah Taylor in 1805. He had a daughter Margaret by her but unfortunately mother and child both died in the same year. In all these records, Joseph is described as a ship's carpenter, a petty officer rank in the Navy. We then find him in a report of a sailing of the ship "Salem" to Pennsylvania on 16th April 1817. The ship sailed from Whitehaven which was the nearest west coast port to Newcastle by road.


There follows a copy of a handbill, not for the actual ship on which Joeph sailed but another sailing out of Hull just twelve days later. It mentions the Rideau Settlement where Joseph went and the 100 acres which is the same amount as he was granted.



The text, which is a bit difficult to read in the bill, reads as follows: -


Will take Goods and Passengers for Quebec and Montreal, and sail the 28th April.


Passengers going by this Vessel, will have the great advantage of obtaining, on their arrival at Quebec, GRANTS of LAND, and other Indulgences, from the Government at that place, at either of the Settlements now forming; one at Drummond's Ville, in Lower Canada, the other on the River Rideau, in Upper Canada, both of which places are situate in a fine climate, with good soil for cultivation; and have the great advantage of Water Carriage for their produce to the City of Quebec. ---- For Freight or Passage, apply to the MASTER on Board, in the OLD DOCK; or to


N.B. The Settlers who went to Quebec last year, obtained Grants of Land of 100 Acres each, with Seed for Sowing down, and had Subsistence for Twelve Months allowed them.

Between 1805 and 1817 Joseph spent at least some of these years in the Navy. Also he spent some time as a shipwright as shown by this precious document we have:-

By the Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c. You are hereby required and directed not to impress into His Majesty's service Joseph Tyzack, Shipwright, of Newcastle upon Tyne provided his name, age, and description, be inserted in the margin hereof, and that he does not belong to any of His Majesty's ships. And in case this Protection shall be found about any other person, producing the same upon his own account, then the Officer who finds it is hereby strictly charged and required to impress the said person, and immediately to send this Protection to us. And we do hereby direct, that this Protection for the securing the aforementioned person, and him only, from the Press, shall continue in force for three months Given under our hands, and the seal of the Office of Admiralty, this ninth Day of January One thousand eight hundred and seven. To all Commanders and Officers of His Majesty's Ships, PressMasters, and all other whom it doth or may concern. By Command of their Lordships, Signed by R Tucker { and 3 other signatures one of which may be H Neale, (the other two I cannot decipher)} In the left margin of this document is handwritten "Joseph Tyzack is about 22 years of age, 5 ft 9 in high, brown complexion, brown hair." On the back of this rather fragile document is handwritten - This protection is extended three weeks longer.

Signed by Chas Hope or Hople.

Clearly Joseph as a shipwright was required in the Chatham dockyards. In November 1806 Napoleon arranged for a decree to be issued from Berlin. It placed the British Isles in a state of blockade. This was followed in January 1807 by a British Order in Council declaring all ports in France and her allies under blockade. Absolutely every British ship available would be needed and any able bodied shipwright would be essential for as many ships as possible to be seaworthy.
It is of course difficult to find Joseph in the Naval records because the name of the ship is really needed to overcome the needle in the haystack problem. Obviously by the time he left the Navy by 1817, he may have been to Canada and thus decided to emigrate there later. The war between Britain and America between 1812 and 1814 may have sent him there. Six British ships were in the Great Lakes under command of Admiral Barclay in 1813. They were ignominiously defeated by Perry at that time, with 41 killed and 94 wounded. Another group of British ships were used to mount a blockade along the New England coast. He could have been in either of these and some time we may find something to throw light on the subject at the Public Records Office at Kew.


Whatever happened then he was attracted by the propaganda put out in Britain around 1815-6 to try to attract settlers to Canada. This was not completely altruistic. After the war with Napoleon there were a lot of unemployed people about and so to give relief to the local Poor Law relief funds the emigration out of the country was encouraged. Most of the destitution and hence most of the focus of the propaganda was in Scotland and later Ireland. But Newcastle was not too far away and would have heard of the bribes being offered.


From the point of view of the authorities in Canada, although somewhat subservient anyway to London, they earlier had ideas that these new emigrants might help to protect them if more incursions were attempted by the Americans from the south. This however proved to be fallacious as most settlers soon showed themselves unable or unwilling to protect their land.


Emigration from 1815 to 1841 was of two kinds-assisted and unassisted. Up to 1815 the assisted passages were almost unheard of. After 1815, assisted emigration took various forms. By 1827, Government had financed about 7,000 persons, largely Irish Scots, and settled them in Upper Canada at the Rideau and Lake Settlement. This method was considered too costly to be encouraged, and apart from military pensioners the field was soon left open to other agencies. The parish-aided schemes were confined to England, and were fairly common as early as 1821, when several parishes deported numbers who would have been chargeable to the rates.


Surveyor-General Ridout recommended that vacant lands bordering on the Great Lakes be used for settlement. Their situation, climate and soil were the best in the Colony. Lieutenant-Governor Gore favoured a slice of about 350,000 acres in the two lower districts, but the objections of the U.E. Loyalists, who wanted those lands for their children, defeated his plan. Gore therefore agreed for a limited number of settlers to Upper Canada. Drummond finally decided to consolidate the settlement on the Rideau. There land had been already surveyed and settled in part, and a tract of country, comprising three new townships, Bathurst, Beckwith and Drummond, was Purchased from the Indians to accommodate the settlers.


This was not long after the War of 1812. It was during this war that the settlers of remote parts of the Colony were found to be useless even to protect of their own property. The newcomers were therefore to be settled close together rather than, as formerly, isolated in families. Militarily for the new Settlement, they were more of a liability than an asset. Initially the Settlement was twenty miles of an unbroken forest of absentee grants and it remained so until years afterwards when a road was constructed through it to Kingston. But the authorities had to bow to the inevitable consequences of a land policy which alienated so much land without insisting on its development.


In the meantime arrangements had been completed in Great Britain to convey emigrants to Canada. The plan was fairly ambitious. The original intention had been to include Ireland, in practice it was confined to Scotland, where on February 22, 1815, a royal proclamation was published in the Edinburgh newspapers by Mr. John Campbell, Government Commissioner and Emigration Agent, which announced the terms of settlement and the extent of Government assistance.


The inducements offered were a free passage and provisions during the voyage, a grant of 100 acres of land to each head of a family and to each son at the age of 21 years. Implements of husbandry were provided at prime cost together with rations for six months or at the discretion of the Governor. A minister and a schoolmaster were paid by Government salary.


The Rideau Settlement was originally intended to form a great highway between Upper and Lower Canada, and a second line of defence away from the St. Lawrence. Its banks were occupied chiefly by Americans who had crept over in spite of prohibitions and whose disregard of oaths of allegiance or obligations of any kind made the St. Lawrence a dangerous frontier during the war. It was difficult to defend, and on that account a cause of incessant anxiety to Government. The new route therefore offered strategic advantages of a superior kind, essential to the security of both provinces, and incidentally to the development of trade and commerce, uniting Montreal, Kingston, York and the Great Lakes. Part of the scheme involved a canal twelve miles long to circumvent the Carillion rapids in Grenville township.


On average one month elapsed between embarkation at Greenock and arrival at Quebec, and one year before final settlement on their land. No adequate provision had been made however for their reception.


By the spring of 1816 sufficient progress had been made to accommodates the "Perth " settlers who, before they could occupy their lots had to cut a twenty-mile road through absentee grants.


It would be difficult to imagine a more unpropitious beginning for a Settlement in a wilderness that in a few years was to become famous for well-cleared farms and substantial buildings. Almost every obstacle that nature and blundering officials could raise were present to impede their progress. They arrived in great distress and generally too late in the season to be settled on their land. Often they arrived several hundred miles away, with the last twenty miles through a pathless forest. Many of them were without money, and all without food which had to be brought for their use either from Bermuda or Great Britain. They were housed in temporary shelters during the first winter and none at all were provided for them at their final destination.


But by 1834 one quarter of the homes in Upper Canada were made out of logs and clay as shown in this sketch.



In spite of all these initial difficulties, no Settlement in Canada can show better results. There were certain compensating factors. The Settlement was ably conducted; the situation was excellent with the soil, though heavily timbered, being extremely fertile, and the emigrants, as distinguished from the majority of the soldiers, were thrifty and persevering. By 1820, it was the centre of a flourishing district " with a family on almost every 100 acres. Dalhousie was " very much delighted and astonished at progress already made there." In 1828, it was regarded a place of " prosperity, happiness and contentment "; and by 1844, it was well known as one of the finest Settlements in Western Canada.


Maps of Bathurst

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